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You should prepare well for any interview situation but these days researching the company and understanding the role is definitely not enough. Interviews can take many different forms but much emphasis is now placed on how you answer certain questions. Familiarize yourself with the most commonly asked ones and prepare some well thought through answers.
You may ask why? Consider this scenario: You are feeling confident the interview has gone well so far, you have been given the opportunity to provide good examples of how your skills and experience would be of benefit to the company and then….you get asked a challenging question that you were not expecting! What do you do? Hesitate and become tongue tied or, like most people, blurt out whatever words come to mind first which you later realize didn’t make much sense or perhaps didn’t reflect you in the correct light?
Interviews have become ever more sophisticated and the inclusion of specific questions is designed to test you on all sorts of levels. Here is a list of the ten most common interview questions that you could be asked and suggestions on how best to respond. Some you may be familiar with, some not, but do you have well prepared answers for them?
This is typically the first question you will be asked once you’ve taken your seat and the interview formally starts. This is the opportunity for the interviewer to assess you as a person, both through what you say and your delivery. Remember, their first impression of you is of the utmost importance, so make sure you can answer it in a confident way – after all you know you better than anyone right? Keep it short and succinct, preferably no longer than 2 – 3 minutes.
So what should your reply cover? Make sure you have done your research on what the company expects from the successful applicant, so include information on your qualifications, personality and work experience (making sure they are kept relevant to the position in question). And avoid going into detail about personal life, family etc. at this early stage.
This seems tricky as, on one hand you want to give a favourable view of your personality and ability to do the job, while on the other, you don’t want to claim you have no weaknesses. There are several ways to answer double-edged questions like this.
So what should you disclose then? If you have thoroughly gone through the company’s profile and the job advert and description (make sure you have access to this prior to the interview), you will know the qualities the job requires, what are considered strengths and what are not.
With this knowledge you know what will be considered a weakness by the interviewer, so you can admit to those which you have that are irrelevant to the job in question. Whatever weaknesses you state, make sure your answer is a positive one by making sure you have examples of how you have overcome them in past roles.
Although the interviewer is asking you about your greatest achievement, you still have to choose one that is of most relevance professionally rather than personally. This is a good opportunity to highlight how you can contribute to the company if you are successfully recruited, so focus on an achievement that applies to the position. For example, if the role requires a significant amount of problem solving and troubleshooting, you might want to recount how you resolved a persistent problem that had plagued your company for years. Explain clearly and simply the challenge, solution and outcome and wherever possible, always quantify your results in terms of savings made and increased productivity.
This question is included to find out whether you are committed to the job and to ascertain if you are somebody who sets goals in life. It’s an undisputable fact that people who set mid and long term goals are more reliable than those who don’t. Knowing what you want in life says a lot about your personality, for example as a person who can lead and stay motivated.
Your answer should assure the interviewer that your career progression goals are in line with the actual future plans for the company. As such, it is crucial that you do your homework on the company’s future plans so that you know what to expect for yourself and whether it will meet your long-term career objectives.
This is the question designed to give your interviewer an indication of how much you know about the organization, their culture and whether you can identify with the company’s vision and values. Every business has its strong points; just make sure you focus on these in your answer. For example, if the company emphasizes its integrity with customers, then you should mention that you would like to be in such a team because you yourself believe in integrity in business.
If your values are not in line with those of the company, ask yourself honestly if you would be happy working there. Whatever you do – don’t focus on the package on offer, this will show that you could be someone who will easily move onto another company if the price is right. Make sure your answer focuses on 2 or 3 key points which match with the organization’s ethos.
Don’t at any point focus on the package on offer! Or for that matter, avoid giving the impression that you have applied purely because you need to make a living.
In fact, the best way to answer this question is to spend some time examining what you like about both the role and the company. It is likely you will find something such as the culture, work environment or role your job will play in the future success of the business.
Once you know why you want this job, you can then prepare a response that will relate to how well you fit with the position. For example, if you like the analysis work involved because you enjoy discovering more about customer behaviors, bring up that inquisitive nature of yours. Convince them that you are can offer the majority if not all the skills and traits they require and above all convince the interviewer that you will be an asset to the company.
Here, the interviewer is trying to gauge how much the job fits to your expectations. You may have quit your last job because you were unhappy about something or you may actually have no opportunity for career progression in your current role. There could be a wide variety of reasons for leaving a job. Whatever your reason is, the interviewer wants to make sure that you will be committed to their role and the business and not leave because your expectations are not met.
But whatever your reason – make sure you put a positive spin on your answer. Never complain about what made you unhappy or make derogatory remarks about colleagues or management – this is a real no, no in interviews. Instead focus on your career goals and how the job you are applying for provides a better environment for growth than your previous or current one. Emphasize what you have learned in your most recent role and the valuable skills you can now offer.
This is the answer where you link your skills, experience, education and your personality to the job itself. So you must be utterly familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. Always remember to include actual examples of your experience and achievements to date.
It is possible that you may not have as much skills, experience or qualifications as the other candidates. So what can you say that will set you apart from the rest? People are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who can show honest enthusiasm and drive and who clearly loves what it is that they do. When you emphasize your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as a motivated, confident and energetic person, who could be a real asset to the team in which they work.
You should really avoid going into detail on this topic until you are offered the job. However most interviewers can and do ask this question. Salary negotiation is a tough and delicate matter and some may use this question hoping that you will be the first to give a figure and set the benchmark. The repercussions of this are you could get a job offer but not at either the salary you want, or one that is market average right now.
If you have applied via a recruitment consultancy, then discuss this in detail with them prior to the interview. As part of their service they will negotiate the best package possible for you if you are offered the job, which will be in line with the salary range the company is offering.
If you have applied direct, the company may well have advertised a salary range. A good rule of thumb would be to state a figure within that, at what level is your choice. You should know your market, and if you are offering a rare skill set this means you may well be able to command a salary well above the average in your field – just don’t be greedy!
At other times, this question is designed to let interviewers see if money is the only thing that matters. So, remember to emphasize that your priority lies with the job and not just the pay packet.
This is normally the last question you will be asked before the interview ends, so it’s your chance to finish the interview on a real positive. Even if you don’t believe this is the role for you, make sure you have at least 3 prepared questions and ask them. Replying that you’ve got nothing to ask will always leave the impression to the interviewer that you are not really interested in the job.
The interviewer is going to be attracted to proactive candidates who ask intelligent questions. Make sure they aren’t those with obvious answers that you could easily get if you had done your research thoroughly. Instead, try to incorporate your knowledge of the industry and the company into a question that will address a genuine concern of yours. That way, you get to impress your interviewer and assess for a final time whether the job aligns with your expectations.
A good question to ask is what your chances are of landing the job, but make sure to word it in the right way! Thank them taking the time to interview you and express your enthusiasm for the position before asking if there is any reservation for hiring you. This will be your final chance to address any concerns the interviewer might have of employing you. Stay calm and reply objectively rather than taking any criticism personally.
Hopefully these tips give you some food for thought in your interview preparation – planning really is worthwhile, answering succinctly to any question posed ensures you will come across as confident, positive, decisive and organized.
With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our News & Blogs portal or check out our recent posts below.
COVID-19 has reshaped the way we do business, how we interact with each other, closed and opened opportunities. Essential workers are on the frontlines and scientists work feverishly in the background to help flatten the curve and find a cure. The Life Sciences industry has seen a surge in demand, but can those needs be met in time? New York, California, and Boston, face the highest demand and the biggest shortage of workers to fill the jobs. In Massachusetts alone, it’s estimated that though 74,000 people filled Life Science jobs by the end of 2018, there would be a need for an additional 12,000 by 2024. This was before the pandemic struck. The need is ever greater now. So, what skills do you need to enter the Biotech and Life Sciences field and if you’re in the field, how can you upskill or reskill to fill the most in demand roles? THREE ADVANCED SKILLSETS FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD Computer Vision – A subset of AI, Computer Vision can help the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. It can help identify anomalies in x-rays, help craft prediction models for things like tracking and vaccine solutions, and enhance technology workflows. Data Storytelling – One key element businesses look for in a Data professional is someone who has good data storytelling skills. The ability to translate complex numbers and statistics into something executives and stakeholders can understand is becoming ever more important and ensures sustainability of business continuity. Not only does Data Storytelling make information more digestible for non-technical professionals, it also helps business leaders to make powerful insights about where they are and what steps they need to make moving forward.Skills in Healthcare Technologies – Healthcare technology skills are in high demand. Data professionals who can use and understand medical data in real-time to get results will be highly sought after. Advanced skill sets in healthcare, biotechnology, and similar areas within Life Sciences will see a surge in demand and would be most relevant to companies now more than ever before. Computer Vision, Data Storytelling, and Healthcare Technology skills have become three of the top skillsets needed for today’s world. Each one feeds to the other, and as important as technical skills are, it’s just as important to have soft skills. Especially now. Thankfully, both soft skills and technical skills can be taught. But there still exists a gap between school and business. Below are some ideas on how to bridge that gap. BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL & BUSINESS STEM and STEAM skills will be in higher demand now more than ever before. As important as it is to ensure students with the desire to move into these fields, it’s more important to begin with the schools. For the professionals already in the industry, there are other ways to encourage bridging the gap. Draw more students into STEM programming careers and sustain encouragement as they progress in their studies and career.Emphasize skills with a focus toward the life sciences field.Emphasize that students don’t have to choose a business career over a science career. There is crossover leading to more opportunities.And for those life long learners (read: already in the field), ensure opportunities for professional development.Find talent in other creative ways. Consider ‘non-traditional’ candidates. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Everyone’s on the same page. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology, and particularly biotechnology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
04. June 2020
When Ford first introduced the assembly line, he could only imagine how it would affect the automotive industry. But what about how it could affect supply and demand within the life sciences industry? Automotive and similar factories have been converted before to help build items most needed. Not the least of which, today, is to help supply those in the life sciences industry with the PPE and medical devices they need. Demand is high. Supply is not. Enter blockchain technologies. As health systems become overburdened and disruptions to ‘normal’ life occur on a global scale, it’s important to ensure critical resources are prioritized. So, what can businesses do to help ensure supply and demand are met in not only these critical times, but for the future. FIVE WAYS TO ENSURE SUPPLY MEETS DEMAND When it’s difficult to supply even the most in demand products, it’s time to take an assessment of various scenarios. These scenarios can help leaders predict what and when they’ll need certain products and critical items. Assess your scenario within the framework of increased disruption.What are your capabilities?Identify the most immediate needs to meet, any risks to be aware of, and take action.Determine any structural changes you’ll need to make.Prepare to pivot. Be aware you may be in a continuous cycle of determining risk, assessing where you are and need to go, any configurations you’ll need to make to get there, and any operational procedures to improve and move forward. By assessing, prioritizing, and visualizing, companies are able to craft a clearer scope of vision. The scenarios created can offer insight into key pieces of planning to help mitigate disruptions of supply chain processes. This crisis will have long-lasting effects and implications from how we work to how we assure supply and demand. It’s in these strange crosshairs, the life sciences industry finds itself at the center of this pandemic, and at the same time is the life force which has given blockchain technologies fuel to improve. No matter where you are on the spectrum of supply chain technology, there is calculated risk to every decision. Just because we’re easing restrictions now, doesn’t mean there won’t be an about face in the next few months, and what companies do between now and then is critical. Supply is already short. Now is the time to take immediate action to help mitigate risk for patients, providers, your clients, and your communities WHAT TO DO NOW AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE The scale of risk is unlike any leaders have seen in recent years. Its speed adds to the uncertainty as numbers rise, decisions change, and most are left wondering what’s next. Businesses who respond quickly and confidently can help to alleviate some uncertainties, but can craft a plan crucial to understanding the complexities of blockchain within the industry. Strong data, analysis, predictive modelling can help to anticipate any further or potential disruption. Taking these steps can help make businesses more resilient in the future and also help them manage future challenges. It’s integral to have strong, responsive, and resilient risk management capabilities. To do this, your business will want to ensure their capabilities are technology-led platforms which support analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Whether you’re mitigating risk, preparing an assessment, or determining your capabilities, it’s important to ensure you’re transparent. We are all in this together. Even in business. Transparency builds trust as does assuring supply and demand by mitigating risk. It’s these things which will soon become the basics of business protocols. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
28. May 2020
In the race to develop tests and create vaccines, the Life Sciences have become leaders within the Data industry. Working in tandem with a variety of sources such as human capital, blockchain, Data, and Analytics professionals to get help delivered to where it’s needed most. This remains a critical time for the Life Sciences. As we work to flatten the curve and take steps to reopen the economy, the Life Sciences industry is also helping to empower the workforce for the foreseeable future. For many businesses, this means allowing remote working either through the end of the year or indefinitely. The ability for those in the Life Sciences industry to collaborate remotely widens the availability and offers more virtual engagement for patients, providers, and researchers without risk of contagion. There are four key areas in which companies can focus their efforts: Strengthen and empower your workforce and business community.Ensure demand meets supply.Leverage your Data to advance how patients are treated.Ensure technologies and processes are in place to virtualize patient/provider engagement. We’ll look at each of these over the next few weeks. So, how do you empower your workforce, build your community, and ensure continuity for your business? First, determine how you might best attract and retain talent for the problems to solve now and in the future. Five Ways to Ensure Workplace Flexibility for the Future Enable your employees to work remotely through digital, virtual, and collaborative technologies.Build a transparent culture through meaningful connection between healthcare providers, patients, partners, and vendors. Make sure everyone’s on the same page at every stage.Innovate new ways to interact through digital means and encourage business continuity through remote work, virtual AI to assist with customers, and evolve connections to meet strategic objectives.Widen your scope to collaborate across geographies at a global scale.Automate when possible to expand detection and response Life Sciences Brands Set New Standards for the World of Healthcare The sudden and long-lasting impact of COVID-19 requires brands to move more quickly than ever before to best serve their customers. It’s imperative customer operations offer quality, caring, and compassion particularly within the healthcare and by design Life Sciences industry. In order to offer the best care and treatment, Life Sciences brands must use the Data and Analytics information they’ve acquired from healthcare records, researchers, and more to ensure quality care for both customers and employees. In times of uncertainty and fear, leaders must make informed, swift decisions. Trust is paramount is work, research, customer and employee relationships move to and remain online rather than face-to-face. While our collective emotional state adds to the challenge, it also offers new opportunities to be forged. The work-from-home model is dependent on having the right secure technology. Employees and businesses need to feel as secure working from home as they would in an office environment. To create this experience and build trust, implementing networking infrastructures will be more important than ever before. Put People First As important as secure technologies, solid networking infrastructures, and customer care are, the number one priority to ensure you can meet each of these is to care first and foremost, for your workforce. It’s this caring which will enhance your efforts allowing for business continuity as you also care for your customers. We are all in unchartered territory these days, but leaders who put their employees first are building another level of trust. Understanding the unique intensity of caring for family members and managing wellness as well as navigating increased workloads for some of their employees may seem untenable. But when your workforce is armed with the latest information, assurance of frequent communication, and the chance to celebrate small wins and jobs well done, the people you care for will care for your business. Business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
21. May 2020
Small business. Big business. From Amazon to Zoe’s Restaurant, everyone has taken a hit during the pandemic. Some are closed indefinitely while some have been retrofitted to make masks, ventilators, or have even become makeshift labs to find a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus. But what’s one thing all these businesses have in common? The need for marketing. We’ve all had emails assuring us our favorite business is doing their part to flatten the curve. Others might explain they’re refocusing or redoubling their efforts to support front line workers, but they’ll return to business when they can, and small enterprises? Every sale is a bonus for them as they struggle to make ends meet and stay in business. So, what are some ways that Marketing Analytics are helping these businesses both big and small plan for the future? They’re making use of marketing analytics. Shift Strategies. Build Community. It’s a virtual business world, but that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing, or that your customers aren’t still around. By showing you care about your customers whether it’s taking steps to sanitize surfaces or offering high-value content. By shifting strategies from outbound to inbound, it’s giving your customers a chance to window shop, browse, and consider before buying. Whether they’re having to be cautious about their finances or not, how you present yourself to them, keeps them around for the long haul. Being there for your customers shows them you appreciate them and care about them. And that you’re not just about the sale. This is the virtual handshake which keeps your customers coming back and gives them something to look forward to in the future. Show Support. Express Solidarity. This is for both your employees and your customers. When you show support and express solidarity from within your company, it speaks volumes to your customers. These are trying times for everyone, if you must close your doors, be clear in your communications. Be honest and explain what’s happening, if and when you hope or expect to resume operations, and stay positive. Niche Market Analysis Determine who your customers are and how they might react in times like these. How they react can determine what you do next and how you do it for your business? As much as you should have an overview of your demographics, it’s also important to take a deeper dive. Knowing this information can help you plan the most effective marketing strategy for the future of your business. This kind of raw Data offers a wealth of information and resources to help you best analyze your information. Gather Data. Track. Analyze. This can help you get an overview of what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can pivot based on your customer’s needs. This time is an opportunity to assess, reassess, and pivot if needed to determine what works best for you and your customers. From here, you can refine your strategies, get creative in your ideas, test, and track. Remember, Marketing is a process. Marketing is a long game. Have patience. Be consistent. While the fruits of your labors may not be immediately felt, customers may feel of a sense of normalcy knowing you’re with them during this pandemic. Everyone’s in the same boat. We’re all in this together. Whether you’re a business on the front lines or have to close your doors for a while, using these strategies help not only your customers have something to look forward to, but you as well. As business processes have continue to shift online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. But here’s the good news. Leaders, Hiring Managers, recruiters, and prospective employees are all navigating a new way of doing business and finding talent to keep those businesses running. In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics professional opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com
14. May 2020